Suspended sentence for Mallow man for his part in international money laundering scam 

Detective Garda Noelle McSweeney who investigated the money-laundering case said there were also five fraudulent claims of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment by the defendant in the period October/November 2020
Suspended sentence for Mallow man for his part in international money laundering scam 

At Cork Circuit Criminal Court, Mateusz Gryglak of Gould’s Hill, Mallow, County Cork, has been given a three-year suspended sentence for his part in the international money-laundering scam.

A young man in Mallow became a pawn for a money-laundering criminal organisation through contact with unknown parties on Snapchat and he later received threatening phone calls from them.

Now at Cork Circuit Criminal Court, Mateusz Gryglak of Gould’s Hill, Mallow, County Cork, has been given a three-year suspended sentence for his part in the international money-laundering scam.

Detective Garda Noelle McSweeney who investigated the money-laundering case said there were also five fraudulent claims of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment by the defendant in the period October/November 2020.

On November 25, 2020 gardaí were contacted in relation to an allegedly fraudulent deposit to an Ulster Bank account in the name of Mateusz Gryglak. 

The account had been opened on October 5, 2020 and there was an electronic transfer into this account on November 2, 2020 in the sum of €12,203 which originated in Chile and was intended by the Chilean company to pay to a company in China.

Det. Garda McSweeney said that very soon after the money arrived in the account there was an electronic transfer from the Ulster Bank account to an account in Germany. There were also two ATM withdrawals in the sums of €200 and €600.

In a second transaction €16,500 was transferred into the Irish account from an Italian company intending to make a payment to a German company.

“There were two €5,000 withdrawals physically from a bank in Ireland.

“He was interviewed on three occasions and he cooperated and answered all questions asked. Through the social media platform, Snapchat, he was encouraged to hand over his bank account details and encouraged to open the Ulster Bank account. He handed over control of the account to these unknown persons in Dublin.

WITHDRAWAL

“Originally, he interacted in order to make money. He withdrew the €10,000 cash and met a man and personally handed it over to him. He is not aware of what happened to the rest of the money.

“He later panicked. He received calls of a threatening nature. He felt he was under pressure and he was worried that they knew where he was residing.

“He was told at the outset he would get a 20 to 30% cut but he did not. He accepted he facilitated these transactions but he made no profit from it,” Det. Garda McSweeney said.

Sinead Behan defence barrister said the accused is working and had no previous convictions and his family who are very respectable hardworking people were ashamed and upset about what he did. Ms Behan said the young man was a low risk of reoffending.

The detective said, “I don’t believe he was a criminal mastermind. I believe he was a pawn in a larger criminal organisation.” 

He brought €5,000 to court to compensate the companies who were at a loss. Despite prosecution efforts to contact these parties it proved unsuccessful. Instead the money is to be given to Mallow Search and Rescue.

Judge O’Donoghue said of the money-laundering, “This is an affront to society. It would have impacted on people’s financial transactions. It is a reprehensible crime. Fortunately, it was a corporate victim which to some extent is a mitigating factor, but the court has to look at it very seriously and take a grave view of what occurred.

“He was 19 at the time. He was naïve to get involved with unknown parties to this crime. He was impressionable and thought this was an easy way of making money.” 

The judge said the many mitigating factors in the young man’s defence greatly outweighed the aggravating factors.

Judge O’Donoghue said a fully suspended three-year sentence was appropriate.

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